We made this wonderful dish at Culinary Communion, with Chef Gabriel Claycamp. This recipe is a repeat favorite with class attendees, and they've been known to call Gabriel up years later, from halfway across the country, to replace the beloved recipe that they'd misplaced. :) Recipe posted with permission.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄4 cup minced shallot
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1⁄3 cup cider vinegar
- 1⁄3 cup maple syrup
- 1 fresh chicken
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons peanut oil or 4 tablespoons bacon fat or 4 tablespoons duck fat
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3⁄4 cup sliced almonds
- 1⁄2 cup sliced leek (sliced across, in "coins")
- 1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
- 1⁄4 cup fresh breadcrumb
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Begin the sauce by melting 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium high temperature, then add the shallots and cook until translucent.
- Add the pepper, nutmeg, and vinegar and bring to a boil, then add the maple syrup and return to a boil; allow to reduce by half and reserve.
- While sauce is reducing, begin working on the chicken by spatchcocking it: with sharp kitchen or poultry shears, cut the backbone out of the chicken by cutting along one side of the backbone, then along the other; turn the chicken over and remove the keel bone, then press down to flatten it; additionally, for this recipe you also remove the wings; do NOT remove the skin of the chicken.
- Season both sides of prepared chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat the oil or fat in a large, heavy oven-proof skillet over high temperature; when it is very hot, carefully add the chicken skin-side-down into the hot pan (place the chicken away from you, not toward, to avoid oil splatters).
- Cook over high temperature for approximately 10 minutes, checking to see that the skin is turning a nice, crispy golden brown.
- Turn the chicken over in the skillet, then place the entire pan in the pre-heated oven and continue to roast, basting often, until done and juices run clear, about 35-45 minutes.
- When chicken is done, remove it from the oven and the pan and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes.
- While the chicken rests, begin the topping by combining the melted butter and almonds in a small skillet, and sauté until the nuts turn golden brown.
- Add the leeks and cranberries and cook until leeks begin to go limp, about 5 - 7 minutes, then add the bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste and sauté for 3 minutes until crumbs begin to brown; remove and place in serving dish.
- Finish the sauce by removing the fat from the skillet the chicken was cooked in, then deglaze it with the sauce; pour completed sauce into a serving bowl.
- To serve: cut the chicken into serving size pieces, top with the sauce and then with the topping.
First, I nearly ignored this recipe because I had never spatchcoked a chicken before and I thought it sounded too difficult. It wasn't. So don't let that put you off.
Second, the recipe was excellent. There are a lot of interesting flavours going on and the results were worth the effort. It made a very impressive dinner party dish. I cooked the sauce and topping earlier on and then let the chicken sit in a warm oven while we ate our starters. The sauce got a bit thick sitting on top of the stove, even with no additional heat, but it thinned to a nice consistency once I added the pan juices.
Third, I took the recipe at its word and used a fairly small pan to make the topping. This was my only mistake. Use a medium sized pan. There's a fair volume to the ingredients and if you want the breadcrumbs to toast properly, you will need a larger pan than you might think.
I am not a culinary expert by any stretch but this recipe was easy to follow and very much worth the extra effort. "Spatchcock" was a whole new word to me but...thanks to Kasha's recommendation...I found a great video on the web that took out any guesswork virtualweberbullet.com / butterflychicken.html. The only change I made to the recipe was to use olive oil as that is all I had. Also, since it's over 100 degrees here I cooked the chicken on a separate pan in my toaster oven (didn't want to turn on the big oven). This recipe is fantastic and I will use it again. Because of the extra work (not that there's a lot but my toddler gets a little impatient) I will probably use it mainly for a special dinner or when company comes. Thanks Julesong...so glad I found this recipe and your page as I can't wait to try out some of your other recipes!